September 7, 2018

Luke 5:23-24… Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you’ or ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins… He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, pick up your bed and go home.”

            This was the healing of a man who was a paraplegic. His friends brought him to Jesus for healing but they could not get near Him in the house because of the crowd, so they took off roof tiles and lowered him down through the hole in the roof. The above exchange took place when Jesus saw him. It challenges conventional thought. If you were paraplegic, what would you want most from Jesus? Healing or forgiveness?  Healing would probably be your most immediate desire. But, forgiveness is your most pressing need. Do we even know the value of forgiveness? Jesus gives us the value of forgiveness in this story. “Which is easier to say?” … He asks. As humans, we are mostly consumed with our physical lives. God wants to make us aware of our spiritual lives. Perhaps, this can be summed up in this statement. God views us as spirit, soul, and body; we view us as body, soul, and spirit.

            What is first in your thoughts? Are you first body or first spirit? Our flesh wants to hold us captive.  The Devil uses our flesh, our bodies with passions, to lead us to destruction, God leads us by the Spirit to life everlasting. Forgiveness is essential to the process toward life, everlasting. When God forgave us because of the sacrifice of Jesus, He paved the way to giving us His Holy Spirit. He couldn’t put His Holy Spirit in us without first forgiving us. Never discount forgiveness.

            Because of forgiveness we have life and hope. I wonder if we even appreciate the value of hope.  Some days, that is all I can muster up. Recently, I said to the lord in prayer, “Can you please send some good news today?” I was tired of discouraging news. Then I remembered, He gave us hope for times like these. I can hope for good news and be well within the boundaries of abundant life. Hoping for good news is not the same as complaining about bad news. That is a significant difference.